Police issue warning after spate of rural thefts

Latest from Northumbria Police.
Latest from Northumbria Police.

Machinery and tools have been stolen in the last two days from farms across Northumberland as thieves continue to target rural areas.

A farm near to Longframlington was raided overnight and the culprits pinched a red Camam 400 sports quad bike, a yellow and black Karcher pressure washer, an orange Husqvarna chainsaw and an orange and black Dewalt 18v drill in its case.

The perpetrators cut fencing and gained entry across the field to the farm yard before snatching the haul. It occurred between 10pm and 8.30am, although disturbed cattle suggest it may have occurred at approximately 3am.

Today, a garage door was forced open at a farm near to Morpeth and a Canon camera, Blue Giant hybrid pedal cycle and a pink MPS pedal cycle were stolen.

A spate of thefts have also occurred in and around Hexham.

A green Yamaha Grizzly 2013 quad was stolen from a farm near Lowgate between 9pm yesterday and 6.30am today after thieves gained entry to an open barn.

Meanwhile, a number of sheds and a garage have been broken into overnight and a quad bike and chainsaw were stolen from property near to Minsteracres.

Today, between 11.30am and 12.30pm, thieves used a vehicle to smash their way into an outside shed and steal equipment at a farm near to Newton.

Yesterday, just before 7pm, a white Peugeot van (registration number AV11 OWC) was seen in suspicious circumstances on farm property at Capheaton.

The driver claimed to be from County Hall, Morpeth, when he was approached by the farmer and drove off at speed.

It has been ascertained that this vehicle is on ‘cloned’ number plates - ie copied from a legitimate vehicle and placed onto an often stolen vehicle. This vehicle and other similar types may be involved in some rural crimes.

Following the thefts, a police spokesperson said: “Thieves are travelling into our area from some distance and are taking the opportunity to steal whilst here.

“Can we ask you to be aware of vehicles and people near your property and please do not hesitate us to contact via 101 if you believe they are suspicious.

“Thieves are becoming more brazen by stealing throughout the day, please be aware of this whilst going about your daily business and take extra care when leaving property in and around your property.

“If you see any vehicles or people acting suspiciously in and around your property please contact police immediately, making a note of the registration number, make, model and possible direction of travel, via either 101 or 999.

“Thieves will take every opportunity to alleviate you of your property. Please be aware that often these thefts are opportunist - so we all have to be vigilant for anybody acting suspiciously in and around your properties.

“Please ensure that car keys are kept out of site when not being used, and never left in vehicles, even for the shortest time. If you have any concerns then please contact police.”